As a busy clinician, you may only have a few moments to think about marketing and SEO. So, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do in between counseling appointments to boost your SEO and reach your ideal clients on search engines. Good news! There are several things you can do in between sessions! In this blog, I will detail 5 things you can do to boost your SEO in ten minutes or less!
7 Things You Can Do To Boost Your SEO Between Counseling Clients:
1. Add your address or identifying location information to your footer.
Adding your address to the footer of your website tells Google where you’re located and helps your rankings in those places. If you have a physical address, use that. But if you’re seeing clients online or have an online-only practice then include a statement such as “serving the entire state of (name of state) including city, city, city, and city via online therapy. For example “Our therapy practice is physically located in Caldwell, ID but we see clients throughout the state of Idaho including Boise City, Miridian & Nampa for online therapy.” This helps give your SEO a small “boost” for each of those areas mentioned. This is part of a larger SEO strategy called Local SEO but is one thing you can usually do pretty quickly.
2. Respond to source inquiries on HARO.
First of all, if you haven’t signed up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out) I highly suggest you do this. It’s a great way to get a backlink. In fact, several of our clients including our founder, Jessica have been featured in major publications like The New York Times, Bustle, Huff Post, etc.
A few things to know…
- Sign up as a “source”
- Choose to receive notifications for topics that pertain to counseling or your specific niche
- when responding to an inquiry:
- Directly answer their questions in a succinct way. Follow directions exactly-sometimes they ask for something very specific. Or if they ask for 2 tips, give them exactly 2 tips.
- Offer to answer any follow-up questions they may have.
- Always include the URL of your private practice and request that they give you a backlink if they choose to feature you as a source.
- Don’t overthink your response! Too many practice owners waste 30-60 minutes writing a response, so they stop responding to HARO inquiries pretty quickly. But really, they’re usually looking for a quick response. If they want something more in-depth (i.e. if you need to spend that 30-60 minutes) they’ll generally respond to your email with more questions.
When the media use your quote, they often give you a backlink to your website. Building backlinks is a really powerful way to improve your SEO. However, sometimes the media source may not link back to your website. Know that just them mentioning your name & practice still have some benefit.
3. Do Some Light Keyword Research.
You don’t have to spend hours doing keyword research. Just taking a few minutes here and there to check and see what terms are ranking well in your area will make optimization easier down the road.
If you’re not sure where to begin check out these blogs about keyword research:
- Our 2021 Free Keyword Research Guide
- 4 Common Mistakes with Keyword Research
- Why Keywords Research is the Foundation of SEO
- Where do I put keywords on my private practice website?
4. Make a List of Blog Post Topic Ideas
There are lots of places to look for blogging inspiration. Keeping a list of topics you want to write about makes it easier to actually blog the next time you sit down to start writing.
Reflect on your past sessions, is there a topic that comes up often? If the answer is yes, then add it to your list. Or, if you’ve recently read a good book that pertains to your counseling work, then add that to the list as well. If you’re searching for ideas one place you can look is www.answerthepublic.com. Here you can type in certain keywords you’re targeting and get a list of queries people are typing into Google. Please note, you can do up to two free searches per day. Want to read more about blog writing? Check out these articles:
- Blogging for SEO: Where Mental Health Professionals Can Find Inspiration
- Common Mistakes Therapists Make When Blogging
- Are Blog Posts Just for SEO?
- How to Write a “Long Enough” Blog Post
5. Update Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Update your Google My Business listing. Look and double-check that all the information on there is correct? Have you added new information about your practice’s COVID safety policies? Have you posted a blog recently that you could share there? Could you add another picture of your office? Do you have a new therapist you can announce has joined the practice? Taking ten minutes to update your GMB profile in one of these ways can boost your SEO and give valuable information to your clients looking at your listing on Google. Want to learn more about Google My Business? check out these blogs:
- Google My Business Deep Dive
- Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile
- Google My Business for Online Only Practices
6. Add Your Website to a Directory
Directory websites help boost SEO in several ways. First, they help get your name, address & phone number (NAP information) out there across the web in a consistent way. Second, you generally get a backlink that is pretty high quality.
Some therapists wonder if it’s worth getting your site on a directory if you don’t actually have clients calling who found you on that directory. If it’s a free directory, our answer is an absolute yes. If you have to pay for the directory, it may or may not be “worth it.”
- Therapist Directories: A list of some our clients have used other than Psychology Today
- Tips for Choosing Which Directories are “Worth it”
7. Add & Optimize a New Photo on Your Website to Boost SEO
Adding photos can be an easy distraction between clients. You might find a new photo from a stock photo website or even just take one with your phone around the office to upload. When adding it to your website make sure you optimize it by:
- Compress the photo before uploading it. We like to use tinypng.com for this. Unfortunately, too many large photos can slow down your site which is bad for SEO.
- Add relevant alt text describing the photo for anyone using a screen reader.
- Add a relevant photo file name that includes at least one relevant keyword or phrase you’re targeting on that page.
How do I get my therapy website to the top of Google?
The truth is that search engine optimization (SEO) is somewhat complex and ever-evolving. So, if you live in a competitive area, it may take time & a comprehensive SEO strategy to get your website ranking. But Google can be an amazing source of referrals for therapists, so it’s worth the investment. We recommend laying a good foundation with on-page SEO, a regular blogging strategy and organically building backlinks to your website.
In other words, the tips we’ve shared here will help, but may not get you to the top on their own unless you live in an area that really isn’t very competitive.
Every Little Bit of Optimizing Helps Boost SEO
Doing your own SEO is a large time commitment. But doing a little bit of work every day (or as often as possible) will have great long-term effects on your SEO. Google responds well to websites that are consistently making changes and improvements to better their user experience. So, doing these tips will increase your chances of ranking better in your area.
These are small steps, but they are meaningful. And over time these little steps add up. If you find you enjoy these little things and want to dive more deeply into optimizing your own site, check out our DIY courses or schedule a consultation so we can talk about our other SEO training options!
On the other hand, if you start doing these little things and discover that you really just don’t have any desire to work on your SEO even in these short bursts, we can help. Simplified SEO Consulting offers comprehensive done-for-you SEO services and is skilled at helping our clients create an SEO strategy that will meet the needs of their private practice so they can get in front of their ideal client and grow their business.
The Value of Getting Your Counseling/Therapy Website to the Top of Google
Our team at Simplified SEO Consulting cares deeply about helping you get in front of the right therapy clients. As a therapist myself, I know that most of us have a specific type of client with whom we do our absolute best work. For me, that’s working with people who have extreme anxiety (think panic disorder) or who have developed PTSD after a sexual assault and are motivated to get their life back. I’m at my best when I’m sitting with those clients.
As I gave thought to this early in my practice, that’s who I started targeting for SEO. Over time as my SEO improved, I was able to get enough new clients calling that I could be picky and only work with those clients who I’m excited to show up and work with each week. I believe you and (if you’re a group practice owner) your clinicians deserve that too. I believe you’ll do your best work when it’s those ideal clients who call you.
So, I started Simplified SEO Consulting. And I brought on people who are a lot smarter than me about the technical stuff, but who also all have some sort of background in mental health (typically a degree in psychology or social work with some related experience) so they “get” the importance of us getting your site ranking for the right things.
How Simplified SEO Consulting Can Help
From the start, I’ve wanted Simplified SEO Consulting to make getting to the top of Google an easier journey for other clinicians than it was for me. So, we offer you a range of options. For some busy practice owners, it’s easier just to outsource their SEO. So, we have a solid “Done for You” option where a team of SEO specialists with complementary strengths works together to optimize your website for you while maintaining regular communication with you to ensure their work really represents the work you do.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have simple DIY SEO courses for therapists who are really bootstrapping things and have a lot more time than money at the moment. And in between, we have small group SEO group training or a 12 week 1:1 SEO Intensive where you’re still learning to optimize your own site but have more support from our team implementing these techniques on your own website.
Whatever level of support you want/need right now, we’re here to help. Even if you don’t have a single penny to spend on SEO, use these tips I wrote above, our free 7-day email series, and other blogs on our website to get started. Because while there are a lot of wonderful marketing options out there for therapists these days, this is a great one if you have the right resources to help you along the way.
About the Author
Jessica Tappana is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an active caseload of her own, a group practice owner, and an SEO guru for mental health professionals. She taught herself SEO the hard way while growing her group practice. That practice now has 10 clinicians who get to each see their ideal clients because they usually have 10-25 more calls per week than they have openings in the practice. She founded Simplified SEO Consulting to help other practice owners get to that same place.
Jessica has a team of amazing SEO professionals at Simplified SEO Consulting who now do much of the day-to-day work. This allows Jessica to spend time almost daily reading about the latest SEO trends, practice using new techniques or tools, teaching her team more about the integration between SEO & running a practice, and helping problem solve websites that just aren’t responding to our work the way we’d like.